“This is a sign of relief. We are not only allowed to venture out into Panatag to fish. The Coast Guard will also be there to accompany us.” These are the statements of Arnel Tolero, owner of Princess Mara fishing vessel, in an article published by Philippine Daily Inquirer.
This is a sign that change truly came not only specifically to the relationship between Philippines and China but also with once a territorial dispute, the Panatag shoal.
The Philippine Cost Guard (PCG) with their patrol crafts will soon be positioned to patrol the Panatag shoal. And because of this the Princes Mara fishing vessel crew will now be unworried to venture out Panatag shoal, at the same time any uncertainties or accidents may happen will be responded immediately.
Before this, Tolero said, his crew had a worst experience with the Chinese Coast Guard wherein guns aimed them. But there are also instances wherein the Chinese Cost Guards are friendly towards Filipino fishermen that they will trade a fish for a potable water.
After a fisherman from Infanta, Pangasinan came with a large haul of fish, the crew of Princes Mara had been to Panatag shoal. Now, they are very eager to venture out the disputed shoal hoping and expecting that the Chinese Coast Guard won’t bother them.
In an article published by Philippine Daily Inquirer, Philippine Coast Guard Commandant Rear Admiral William Melad disclosed that six PCG ships will be patrolling the Scarborough Shoal. Three will be on a regular patrol while the other three will be used as monitoring, control, surveillance (MCS) vessels. He added that the patrol ships will be rotational every after two or three days.
Aside from these PCG ships, Melad said that the Barko ng Republika ng Pilipinas (BRP) Tubbataha which is said to be the newest multi-role response vessel (MRRV) of PCG will also take part in the patrol together with BRP Davao Del Norte and BRP Pampanga.